I really enjoyed this young adult novel. Aaron is a teenage boy who finds his life drastically changed when his mother dies in a fi**spoiler alert**
I really enjoyed this young adult novel. Aaron is a teenage boy who finds his life drastically changed when his mother dies in a fire and his father, Stede Bonnet, takes him in. Aaron never spent much time with his father who lived away with his legal wife and children. At first Aaron thinks he will be accepted into the family, but soon finds that he is being sucked into a pirate lifestyle. It seems that his father must be having a midlife crisis and has decided to sail the seas, robbing and wrecking havoc instead of importing sugar and rum on his new ship. Aaron is terribly mistreated by one of the shipmates on board, and he lives in fear until he is befriended by two brothers who where taken in to help with running the ship. The three help each other deal with the abuse and scheme a plan to escape. (view spoiler)[In conversations about God's plan for each of them, why there are evil and terrible motives among the ship's crew, and how God's love is there with forgiveness when asked for, Aaron is able to find sympathy and forgiveness for his father. The boys have TOO much adventure ... avoiding attacks on other ships as best they can by hiding in the bowels of the ship. One of the brothers faces trial when the pirates are captured and there is also a hunt for buried treasure in a cemetery (creepy)! (hide spoiler)]
There is a lot of historical fact included in this novel, along with information about the notorious pirate Blackbeard.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
It seems that Holden had a chip on his shoulder. I think he was bored with school because he was truly gifted. He probably had a touch of ADD and defiIt seems that Holden had a chip on his shoulder. I think he was bored with school because he was truly gifted. He probably had a touch of ADD and definitely trouble focusing. But so did Einstein, and he was certainly a genius. Lots of kids I've taught in the past had the ability to succeed but felt it was a wasted effort if they had to stoop to a level below their intelligence. He demonstrated more than once that he had a strong knowledge base … even his roommate trusted him to write a paper for a school assignment.
Holden also shows concern and compassionate feelings with the interactions he has with others. Although Ackley is sort of an outcast at Pencey Prep, Holden imagines how it must feel to be different, unlikable, and treats him decently. When he meets Sunny, the teenage prostitute, he shuns her sexual advances … possibly feeling that she deserves a better life. He wants to talk to her, maybe out of loneliness, or maybe fear of exposing his inexperience. And despite his tough, worldly exterior I think he has respect for women. He also contacts Sally, an old girlfriend, and meets her for a night out. In his mind he talks to himself about her annoying ways, but to her face he is polite … until he suddenly blows a fuse, letting his inner feelings surface. Once the harsh words are spoken, Holden tries to take them back … even suggests that the two of them run away together. (more fear of loneliness?)
Holden feels closest to Phoebe, his younger sister. I think he wants to protect her from bad and evil things. He compares himself to “the catcher” a character he believes is from a poem by Robert Burns (Comin' Through the Rye). He believes he needs to shield the children at Phoebe's school from vulgar graffiti … tries to erase/cover up these words when he sees them written on walls in the stairwell. Innocence is something that doesn't last forever, but in Holden's eyes he can't see Phoebe as being anything but innocent. Of all the encounters Holden has while rambling around the city, Phoebe is the only one who seems to accept him and is sincere in her attempts to help him.
He has a strange night when visiting the home of a former teacher, Mr. Antolini After a philosophical talk on life and his problems Mr. Antolini says goodnight to Holden and leaves him to crash on his sofa. Holden wakes up in the middle of the night to find his teacher staring at him, making remarks he interprets as “flitty.” I think this creepiness finally puts Holden over the edge .. maybe he realizes that he needs a “catcher” himself.
As the story ends I felt sad for Holden and his future … the ending eludes to a slow recovery in a mental hospital. After spending time in Holden's head, I'm not entirely sure his outlook could improve. When innocence dies nothing will bring it back …...more